Tag Archive | kids

Missing Children – Maybe you know one?

Every week in my mailbox we receive a flyer of a missing child.  It comes included in what most consider to be “junk mail” such as ads and coupons.  So easy to miss.  These flyers/ads are put out by “The National Center For Missing & Exploited Children.  It is a national, not-for-profit organization.  It was born out of tragedy, the abduction and murder of children.  I think of how awful and sad it must be for those parents and loved ones that don’t know what has happened to their beloved children.

Here is the link to The National Center For Missing & Exploited Children:

http://www.missingkids.com/missingkids/servlet/PublicHomeServlet?LanguageCountry=en_US&

It is a shame to just throw these flyers out and the organizations resources going down the trash.   Here are a few steps I take to help out in some small way.  Every single week I take the time to look at the pictures and information closely to make sure it is not someone I might know.  I upload the flyers to my Facebook page to share with family & friends in case they recognize someone and ask them to pass it along.   I  cut out the flyers and hubby takes them to work and puts them out in the lunch room for other employees to see.  Someone in his company has been sweet enough to get a bulletin board and hang them up on the board.  If I am mailing out a package to an acquaintance I will include a flyer and ask them to please take a look at it and pass it on.  And now I am going to be posting the flyers/pictures here on my blog, just in case.  I believe in miracles!

Will you join my small effort to get these pictures circulated and pray that  a missing child can be found and returned to their family?  Wouldn’t it be amazing?  Would you be so kind as to take a look at them and pass them on?  We can’t give up on these precious children and their families.  Till next time…

The Phoebe Dunn Collection

Below is a brief  introduction to the author, taken from the inside cover of one of the books. I just cannot describe it any better:

Phoebe Dunn was a world-renowned photographer known especially for her pictures of children and animals. Her timeless images, photographed in natural settings, using natural light, uniquely capture the interactions and relationships between children and their pets. A number of her books have been written by her daughter, Judy Dunn. For more than thirty years, Phoebe Dunn photographed the world as she knew it, capturing the feelings and relationships that make us all human.

The Little Duck was the first book in the series that I discovered. It was published in 1976. I don’t remember where we got it from but it has been in our home library since my oldest son was a toddler.  What a darling book it is. It tells the story of the life of a duck from little egg to adulthood. What stands out in these books is the photography. There are no illustrations, the story is completely told in real life photographs.

Sample pages of the baby duck hatching from his egg.

After enjoying The Little Duck for many years I discovered that there was an entire collection of these books. Being the book lover that I am and enjoying the book I already had, I knew I had to have the rest. My local mom-and-pop bookstore were able to order me the rest of the books. I was so excited to get  brand new copies as my original book had been a second had copy and was pretty worn. Unfortunately they were not able to acquire for me a copy of The Little Duck. My next best alternative is to try to find a used/like new copy from an internet source.

Sample page of The Little Kitten.

I am so happy to have these books in my children’s book collection to enjoy with my kids. If you love children’s books as much as I do, I hope you will add these to your collection and enjoy them with a youngster in your life.

Sample page of The Little Dog.

Our Childhood Teddys

~The two lovebirds. ~

This is a story of love. Love represented in two teddy bears. The happy couple sits lovingly on top of our bed every day. Or as long as it’s a day the bed was made, lol. The big teddy is mine and the little teddy is my hubby’s. My teddy has been with me since I was a wee little girl. I don’t just love it because it is mine but because of the sentimental value behind it. It was given to me by my grandma and grandpa. My sweet grandma has been gone now for over 21 years. I can’t even believe it’s been that long since it has flown by. When I think of true love I think of two people – my husband and my grandma. They are the two people in the world that without a doubt,  have loved me unconditionally. She would be so happy to know how much I cherish my teddy because of her.

Teddy has seen better days. 😉

Teddy used to have a wind-up music box. I wish I knew what it sounded like.

As you can see from the pictures my teddy bear has seen better days. Fur missing in countless places, loose/ripped ears, broken music box and marker scribbled on her. These things would be okay – if they were done by me. But, no, they were done by my little sister. She would want my teddy bear so bad and my mom would give it to her to, well frankly, to shut her up, lol.  The sad thing is that not only did my teddy get beaten up but it felt like so did my heart.

I think she looks much prettier in her yellow dress. This little dress was made by hand for my 18 y.o. daughter when she was a baby. The sweet lady that made it is now in her 90's and unable to crochet any longer. But her mind is as sharp as a whistle, lol.

Moral of my story? Parents, please, think twice before:  1. Giving your older child’s toy(s) to a younger sibling just because that sibling is being loud and demanding. To you it might not be a big deal but it is to said child.  AND  2. Giving away, donating your child’s favorite toys because they are just clutter to you or you think your kids don’t want them because they don’t play with them that often. Just because they don’t play with them that much doesn’t mean they don’t mean anything to them. I would encourage parents to decide together with the child and leave the final decision up to them with whom they want to share and whether they want to discard their toy(s).

My hubby's teddy.

And here is more love to add to my story. My mother-in-law saved just about every toy of my husband’s and his siblings childhood. When she saw I had my teddy and always kept her on our bed, she didn’t hesitate to send me his even though she had kept it all those years. A loving and sweet gesture if you ask me.

My little boy with daddy's teddy.

I hope you have a teddy or a favorite childhood toy of your own to enjoy and make you smile. If not, then I hope this post has made you smile today.

Cupcake Fun

Recently I took a course in decorating cupcakes from a local cake and candy supply.  Not only did I have a blast but learned so much in a mere 2-hour class. Everyone who saw my cupcakes thought they were pretty cool and my kids were delighted to eat them. They want me to take more classes, lol!

My cupcake creations.

Spaghetti & Meatball

This spaghetti and meatball cupcake was decorated using a #4 tip for the ‘spaghetti’. The ‘sauce’ is a raspberry sauce that they sell at the shop, they also carried a strawberry flavored sauce.

The "meatball" for the spaghetti and meatball cupcake.

Isn’t this a great idea for the “meatball”?!  Just unwrap and cover with sauce.

Mini grater to grate chocolate "cheese".

We used this mini grater and a white or cream-colored chocolate disk to grate the “cheese” on top. You can find this little grater, inexpensively, at Bed Bath & Beyond.

Chinese Noodles Cupcake

This delightful chinese noodle cupcake was pretty easy to make. The noodles are piped using a bigger holed piping tip, #6. The pink “shrimp” are a Starburst candy piece that I shaped into a “sort-of’ shrimp” shape.

Candy needed to make the broccoli.

To make the adorable broccoli you simply use the above wrapped candy.  Unwrap it and with scissors cut it almost in half lengthwise to create the two-headed broccoli shape. Dab a bit of green frosting at the tips and dip into green “jimmies/nonpareil” like the tiny little balls you can see in the above picture.

Can you see the tiny little slices of celery?

To make the celery, use the green apple licorice like the one in the photo. Simply do a thin slice at a diagonal and voila, you’ve got sliced celery. You can find the green apple flavored licorice at a Henry’s or Sprouts. Winco is also a great place to buy candy inexpensively and they sell it in bulk so you can scoop out just the amount you need.

Two good tips I picked up on cupcake baking is:

1. 325 degrees is the best baking temp for cupcakes.

2. Use a tin pie pan or something similar, with water in it, placed under your cupcakes as they bake. This will help to bake them moist.

In an upcoming post I will go over the other cupcakes and show close up pics. Hope you get inspired to bake up your own cupcake fun!

Why Teach Kids To Sew?

It used to be that just about every household had a sewing machine.  Or if not, it was easily accessible from either grandma, an aunt or a good neighbor.  It also used to be that children would learn basic sewing from either mom, grandma, etc.. or at least in school.  Sewing was considered a useful and often times necessary  skill to have.  If a sock got a hole in it, or a button popped off a shirt, an older child or teen would certainly know how to take care of it.

Not in modern times, today most children grow up without ever seeing a sewing machine in person.  ‘Hole in a sock? Fix it by darning it? Are you crazy?!’ Just toss it.  ‘Shoot, shirt is missing a button – guess I can’t wear that shirt anymore’.  Any of my scenarios seem familiar? Maybe a little exaggerated – but really not by much.   With mass production, ready-made clothing can be bought reasonably inexpensive, albeit, low quality. And now a days sewing at home can actually be more expensive than store-bought clothing.  So why teach kids to sew?

My biggest answer would be for the creativity and sense of accomplishment it develops.  It’s so neat when kids get to pick their own fabric and see it go from just flat fabric to something they can handle, feel, it’s useful – and they can wear it! And how awesome that they made it themselves!  In sewing they not only get  to spend time with a person that cares about them but they work on just some of these useful skills: following verbal directions, following visual directions, trouble shooting, decision-making, math, fine motor skills, and patience.

Recently I signed up my daughters for a sewing club/class.  It meets just once a month and we love it. It is our fun and special time together.

Look at the super cute "kitty" print she picked out.

Notice the blue painters tape on the sewing machine. This is a great guide to help the beginner sewer keep straight stitches.

This is daughter #2 working on her skirt. I get a chuckle out of this picture because it reminds me of how much "patience" she had to practice with her project. Being a perfectionist she did not enjoy making any mistakes and most of all having to correct them, lol!

'Ta-Dah'! Made her first skirt ever. Notice the coordinating rick rack on the bottom edge.